Tinkertown - Crafting

I recently decided to get back into Minecraft, since a couple of fellas from work were messing about in a private server. I have fond memories from my previous time with the game, and I figured that, if nothing else, it would be fun to try to recapture some of that former glory while also checking out what has been added over the years.

But that was easier said than done. After getting my bearings and actually figuring out how to access the crafting menu, I was immediately overwhelmed by all of the items at my disposal. I found myself stressing out over whether I had the requisite ingredients, skill, or wherewithal to immediately craft even a sliver of what was on offer. The catalogue is simply massive at this point. I just settled into building a simple, Japanese-inspired abode overlooking a waterfall, then never went back.

I mention this little anecdote as a point of contrast against the also-crafting-heavy, pixelated indie game Tinkertown. In my opinion, Tinkertown handles its own daunting laundry list of craftable items in a much easier-to-digest way than Minecraft. By meting out new recipes every time you stumble upon a new ingredient, Tinkertown lowers the hurdle of entry and completely eliminates the initial overwhelming feeling from the beginning portion of the game.

You start with just a small assortment of items — a workbench, some wooden tools, and some other sundry items — that are possible concoctions in your crafting menu. Once you set up the workbench, more items become available. It’s pretty simple stuff, which is by no means unique to Tinkertown. Even so, it’s all so effortless, encouraging me to seek out more new items just to see what can possibly be crafted from them. And when that “New Recipes Unlocked” notice pops, it just feels so good.

Tinkertown - New Recipes Unlocked

Early in my playthrough, I happened upon a desert biome and spotted my first cactus. I knew that satisfying pop was coming, so I trudged over and harvested me a cactus. And not only did it pop recipes for cactus furniture (I kid you not, there’s a friggin’ cactus bed!), but also a whole suite of cactus-based clothing options. I mean, what?! It’s insane, but oh-so-rewarding, and in the context of Tinkertown, it makes a little bit of sense. I mean, when the worms are the size of anacondas, you might want to be wearing some spikey stuff to keep those suckers in their place.

And look, I realize that Tinkertown didn’t invent the wheel on this one. But as someone who is relatively green when it comes to the more crafting-heavy elements of games like Tinkertown, I think it’s worth noting that this game makes that learning curve feel surmountable. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by complex crafting systems, but Tinkertown makes those systems friendly and easy to digest for newcomers.

Tinkertown - Cactus Armor

And hey, where else can you find wardrobe that isn’t just cactus-themed, but is literally crafted from cactus itself? Talk about looking sharp…

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